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Enthusiasm Grows Across the Board Heading into Big Fort Lauderdale Show By Peter A. Janssen Now that the fall boat show season is well underway, it’s easy to see some trends, and to get a look at what cruising is going to look like in the years to come. For people who’ve been paying attention at least half-way, the trends are obvious: More outboard-powered boats, even among the most traditional of blue-blazer brands; more trailerable boats; more buyers who are downsizing; more cruisers who are seeking adventure; more attention (finally) to the ease-of-use factor, and more emphasis on enhancing the…

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Annapolis Powerboat Show: More New Boats Than Ever in Same Terrific Spot. See Our Reviews of 23 of Them By Peter A. Janssen The United States Powerboat Show Annapolis is always a popular show – for a whole lot reasons. It’s fun, it’s easy to get to, and it’s easy to enjoy. And it’s in Annapolis, the hub of the Chesapeake, a cruising mecca with boatyards and marinas – and waterfront restaurants and bars – all around. Centered around City Dock in the middle town, this year the show, the 46th annual, runs from Thursday, Oct. 12 through Sunday, Oct.…

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We Test the New Grand Banks 60: Fast and Smooth with Some Very Long Legs By Peter A. Janssen This is all you need to know about the gorgeous, all-new Grand Banks 60, the flagship of the legendary builder’s fleet: As we were cruising down Long Island Sound at 24 knots a few days ago, the ride was so smooth, so quiet and so comfortable, that Sue Weisman, the owner’s wife who had just spent a busy day provisioning her new boat, went below to take a shower. She emerged 15 minutes later, smiling and happy. No fuss, no muss,…

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Report from Newport: “Best Show Ever,” “Outstanding” and “Fantastic” By Peter A. Janssen The first show of the fall season, the Newport International Boat Show can serve as a bellwether for the coming year. And this year all the signs were good.  Many new boats were introduced at the show – the Grand Banks 60, Sabre 45 Salon Express, Hinckley Dasher all-electric boat, MJM 35Z, Nordhavn 59 Coastal Pilot, Outer Reef 610, Beneteau Swift Trawler 35, and Hampton Endurance 658, among them. Nancy Piffard, the show director, said attendance was up 10 percent over the previous year. The show “was…

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Zeelander 55, Hinckley Dasher Win Best Powerboat Awards at Newport Show. Sabre 45 is People’s Choice By Peter A. Janssen The Dutch-made Zeelander 55, a gorgeous boat without a straight line anywhere, just won the Best Powerboat Over 35 feet award at the Newport International Boat Show. The judges said the boat was “all curves,” and presented an innovative approach to design. The Zeelander, pictured above, is a combination of a traditional Down East lobster boat and a 1930’s Gold Coast commuter boat, with a totally contemporary hull and performance. The award for Best Powerboat Under 35 feet went to…

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In Irma’s Wake: “Apocalyptic” Destruction in Parts of the Caribbean and Florida Keys. Historic Flooding in Jacksonville and Charleston By Peter A. Janssen As Irma waned and moved into the Ohio Valley, the historic hurricane left a path of “apocalyptic” destruction in many parts of the Caribbean and the Florida Keys, while residents of Jacksonville, Florida, and Charleston, South Carolina, were still dealing with massive flooding in downtown areas. All told, the storm killed 56 people, including 13 in Florida, and officials warned that those numbers would probably increase. In the Keys, officials said 25 percent of the homes were…

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47th Annual Newport Boat Show: First Look at the New Cruising Boats By Peter A. Janssen The Newport, RI, boat show has always been my favorite. It’s the first of the fall show season, so almost all the new boats are there, and then, well, it’s in Newport. Enough said. This year the show, the 47th annual, runs from Thursday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 17, with most of the docks and tents at the Newport Yachting Center, but spilling over to neighboring docks; all told, some 600 boats are displayed over 13 acres. There’s also a brokerage show at…

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Vesper, a Nordhavn 68, Cruises to Greenland and Iceland with a Husband and Wife Crew By Peter A. Janssen Here’s a view you don’t see very often – the entrance to Prince Christian Sound in Greenland from the helm of a Nordhavn 68. This particular Nordhavn 68, Vesper, was well traveled even before it cruised into Greenland and Iceland. Indeed, Bob and Kathy Valleau, the owners, originally climbed on the boat when it was commissioned at Nordhavn’s headquarters in Dana Point, California, in November, 2015. Then, with a Nordhavn delivery captain, they cruised down to Mexico, the Panama Canal, the…

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Joe Blanchard Has Just About Done It All on His Red Grand Banks 36, but He’s Still Going Strong By Peter A. Janssen If you’ve been cruising anywhere in the eastern half of the United States or Canada in the past few years, you’ve probably run across Joe Blanchard on his red-hulled Grand Banks 36 Firebird. Blanchard has pretty much done it all, mostly singlehanded – the Great Loop, the Down East Loop, the Small Triangle Loop. And he’s still going strong, heading south from the Hudson River for Florida, the Bahamas, maybe Cuba. Now retired after a career in…

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Veteran Cruisers Ship Kadey-Krogen 48 from Florida to the Pacific Northwest, Start New Journey By Peter A. Janssen Ever since they bought their new Kadey-Krogen 48 Idyll Time in 2006, Jeff and Suzie Parker have pursued an active cruising life from their home in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They’ve done the Great Loop, they’ve gone up and down the East Coast, they’ve become familiar with most of the stops on the Intracoastal Waterway. “Traveling up and down the ICW has become routine,” Parker wrote in his blog this spring. So they decided to expand their horizons – a long way – shipping…

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